In EU merger control, the European Commission is empowered by Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004 to regulate changes in market structure by deciding whether two or more firms may merge, combine, or consolidate their businesses into one. These decisions affect various market players, including major EU and non-EU businesses, as well as vast product and geographic markets. Offering a network perspective on the cleared merger and acquisition transactions in Phase I decisions under Article 6(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004 (20 January 2004–01 July 2015), this article aims to investigate the overall composition of mergers and acquisitions in terms of their industry sectors and domiciles and to identify the types of firms that acquire more targets than other firms (that is, more expansive firms). The analysis is conducted by using data from the European Commission (601 transactions) and Bureau van Dijk (992 transactions).
Private cartel damages litigation is on the rise in Europe since early 2000. This development has been initiated by the European courts and was supported by various policy initiatives of the European Commission, which found its culmination in the implementation of the EU Directive on Antitrust Damages end of 2016. This article explores the impact of this reform process on effective compensation of damaged parties of cartel infringements. For that purpose, we analyse all European cartel cases with a decision date between 2001 and 2015, for which we analyse litigation activity and speed. Overall, we find a substantial reduction of the time until the first settlement (increase in litigation speed) together with a persisting high share of cases being litigated (high litigation activity). This supports the view that the reform not only increased the claimant’s expectation about the amount of damages being awarded but also resulted in an alignment in the expectations of claimants and defendants in the final damages amount, ie the European Commission succeeded in reaching its objective to clarify and harmonize legal concepts across Europe.